Wastewater Collection System Operation and Maintenance Program

Baltimore, Maryland

Under a five year contract with the city of Baltimore, KCI is providing operations/management services, technical engineering support and field related services to meet the requirements of the Wet Weather Consent Decree (CD) negotiated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). Our team’s primary objective is to assist the city in implementing operational and management improvements. The Consent Decree addresses specific maintenance concerns within the collection system that contribute to sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) which must be eliminated. Requirements of the Consent Decree include implementation of a grease control program and root control/treatment to eliminate known SSOs; detailed analysis and inspection of the collection systems to identify structural defects and blockages; identification and implementation of recommended improvements (structural and operational), and implementation of fleet management and inventory control programs. Reporting requirements of the CD mandated that an Operations and Maintenance Report be submitted to the regulators on an annual basis. The scope of services for the CMOM Program includes the following tasks:

Program Management. KCI provides program management services, engineering direction and field services and data management support to assure the city of Baltimore is in compliance with the Consent Decree’s operational objectives. This includes reporting protocols and document management to assure proper communications with the City’s various agencies, the City’s Program Management team, subconsultants and regulators (EPA and MDE).

Operational Procedures & Performance Indicators. Our team conducted an assessment of the performance of existing city maintenance programs and adherence to the programs, as well as review of existing city SOPs and the ability of the existing programs to satisfy the requirements of the Consent Decree. KCI interviewed staff and identified problem areas and shortcomings within the program/agency including training concerns, staffing issues, lack of access to information and data management issues. Our team developed the following documentation/plans as a result of the above research of city management/operational procedures:

  • CMOM Implementation Strategic Plan to identify recommended steps and timelines to address Consent Decree requirements.
  • Gap Analysis that identifies shortcomings or gaps within the department’s procedures/operations and generated recommended improvements, such as use of available technology.
  • Performance indicators that gauge the effectiveness of programs and allow for continuous improvement.
  • Staff Development and Training
  • Assessment of the skill level of the city’s existing workforce relative to the job classification to determine job effectiveness. We recommended revisions to existing job specifications and developed new job specifications based on demonstrated skills. Findings of the skills assessment allowed us to develop a training curriculum that included both class work and field demonstrations.

Development-and-Implementation-O&M-Program-guy-looking-in-drainAsset Management. Better management of the sewer infrastructure required a systematic approach to performing maintenance activities. These activities were classified into Preventive Maintenance (PM) and Corrective Maintenance (CM). PM activities are intended to avoid infrastructure failures and stoppages to prevent SSO events. Fortunately, the city of Baltimore completed inspections of more than 90 percent of the collection system through various sewershed studies required by the Consent Decree, and the information collected was used to update the city’s GIS. Once this effort was complete, the city possessed a robust and accurate GIS. KCI is presently capitalizing on the vast GIS information in planning and implementing the PM programs.

Our team is also assisting the city with implementing, tracking and monitoring the ongoing Root and Grease Control Programs, the Sewer Cleaning and Inspections Program and the Basement Back-up Prevention Program. In addition, KCI has developed and assisted the city in the implementation of a new FOG Program. KCI has developed an application for use on mobile devices that allows inspectors to log inspection information and associate it to an existing entity. The FOG inspections are also made available for viewing in the DPW Utility Viewer dashboard in near real-time.

Elimination of Repeat Dry-Weather SSO Events. KCI is assisting the city with identifying collection system defects and/or maintenance gaps that resulted in repeat dry-weather overflows. Once the causes of the repeat SSO events are determined, recommended improvements are developed and implemented. Improvements can either be a maintenance function such as system cleaning, or a contracted improvement such as CIPP lining or point repair. These investigations and follow-up improvements have resulted in the elimination of several repeat dry-weather SSO events within the collection system.

Development-and-Implementation-O&M-Program-CMOM-SSO-ScreenshotOur team has developed tools that assist in the reporting and investigation of SSOs. The SSO Reporting mobile application allows responding crew supervisors to capture overflow location and details as well as associating GIS features and time-stamped photographs. All of this information can be saved and submitted in a report with the push of a button while on-site. Once the SSO has been reported, users in the Office of Asset Management (OAM) utilize an SSO Investigation application, which allows them to access all necessary information in one location and capture the findings of their investigation. The mobile framework has been constructed which leverages HTML5 and CSS3 technologies. This pure JavaScript front end integrates the ArcGIS Server JavaScript API to achieve a highly functional GIS mapping client that works across devices. The application back end is a C# WebAPI set of web resources that are secure and self-documenting. The entire application runs on Microsoft Web Servers using IIS with active directory integration to provide a single sign-on experience for the end user.

Capacity Management. The KCI team has identified system restrictions that exist within the collection system to allow the city to develop, design and implement improvements to prevent SSOs caused by hydraulic limitations. The activities that KCI is managing under this task include rainfall and flow monitoring, evaluation of system bottlenecks and ultimately hydraulic modeling. At the request of the city, our team has been evaluating repeat or chronic wet-weather related SSO events and reported on surcharging lines, basement backups, and any other indicators of capacity constraints.

Cityworks Work Order Management. Throughout the project, KCI has analyzed work order management workflows for wastewater operations and has made recommendations for improvements to existing workflows and Cityworks procedures. Our team has helped utility maintenance manage corrective and proactive work activities within the Cityworks program through on-site training sessions, on-call support, and custom standard operating procedure (SOP) guides.

We’ve brought together legacy systems that the city adopted years prior and melded them with the internal DPW business and maintenance practices for issuing work orders to better serve the citizens of Baltimore.

Brendan M. CarrollSolutions Architect

Brendan M. Carroll

Under this project, KCI was tasked with migrating the current Cityworks application from an outdated, hosted network to their robust internal application network. This involved much planning, coordination and technical expertise. Over the course of 24 hours, our team converted the Cityworks database from Oracle to SQL Server, installed Cityworks on a City server, upgraded the database to the latest version, developed a new interface to the 311 system, and configured the Cityworks program to work properly with the City’s GIS.